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7" single (except Germany-Intercord) Germany Intercord 7" single UK-early, Aus, NZl, Spa 12" single later UK 12" single New-York mix 12" single, no name New-York mix 12" single, with name France 12" single Germany 12" single Japan 12" single UK 7" back UK regular 12" back UK New York mix 12" back
"This Charming Man" [original edition]|
This Charming Man
UK 7" [Rough Trade RT136]
This Charming Man (Manchester)
UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT136]
This Charming Man (New-York)
UK 12" [Rough Trade RTT136NY]
This Charming Man (New-York)
Australia 12" [CBS RTANZ12001]
This Charming Man [unlabelled London version]
France 12" [Virgin 601110; first pressing]
This Charming Man [London version labelled Manchester]
Spain 12" [Nuevos Medios 41-061M]
"This Charming Man" was re-released as a single in 1992. Info about this is found at the latter link.
The 2008 reissue of the 7" single by Rhino UK was also included in the "Smiths Singles box" which compiled the band's first 10 UK singles (plus two bonuses). On each of the five weeks leading to the release of the latter box, two singles from it were put up for sale individually. Collectors could therefore buy two single reissues every week, or wait at the end of the programme to get all of them in the box, alongside the two bonus 7"s.
Early versions of the 12" single in the UK and a few other countries such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Spain didn't have the band's name on the front. 7" singles from all countries, 12" singles from France and later repressings of the 12" single in the UK show the band's name on the front. Most 12"s from Germany show the band's name, but some early copies don't. The NY remixes 12"s released in the UK and Belgium have a paler beige tint.
Etchings on vinyl:
Additional release date information:
Chart peak information:
Australia: The 7" and 12" promos had the same content as the stock copies and were slipped in the usual stock sleeves, but their labels were black and white versions with added promo warnings.
Brazil: A 5-track various artists promo EP (21.092, #74; basic grey sleeve with green text) featuring the Manchester and London versions of "This Charming Man" was distributed to media in Brazil in 1985. Because this single was never released in Brazil, and the song is not even featured on the debut album there, and because this promo is from 1985, it is unclear what release was being promoted. It has been speculated that this may have served to promote "Hatful of Hollow", but the version of "This Charming Man" on the latter album is neither one featured on the promo. The promo mentions the source album for other artists featured on it, but not for the Smiths.
Germany: Stock copies of the Intercord 7" were sent to radio paired with a colour Intercord press release with a rainbow across it. Stock copies of the RTD 7" and/or 12" singles were also distributed for promotion, but these were paired with a press release from Rough Trade Deutschland which also mentioned the earlier "Hand In Glove" single.
Japan: Stock copies of the 12" single were sent to radio with a white SAMPLE sticker on the sleeve and the usual 3-character promo mark above 'A SIDE' on the label.
New Zealand: Stock copies of both the 7" and the 12" were distributed for promotion with a 'Not For Resale' sticker on the label on side B.
(on the New York mix of the title track) "It is an absolute thorn. It was completely the people at Rough Trade's idea. They introduced it very innocuously to begin with. François Kevorkian was there and they simply said "Do you mind if he plays about with the track and see what happens?" And there was really no question of releasing it to the public so it seemed very harmless at first. When the American record company wanted it it seemed slightly harmful, but it happened anyways, and when it was released to English clubs and then it was a national release, simply because people demanded it... We had to, in a way, comply with peoples' demands because otherwise it would have been available in this country as an import for an extortionate amount; £5 or something ridiculous. So Rough Trade agreed to press a limited amount for £1.49 which sounded agreeable to us. But at the end of the day I have to honestly say that it doesn't mean anything to me and I'd rather it not be there. And I say this to the Rough Trade people also."
(on the quickly deleted 'New York mix' of 'This Charming Man') "I'm still very upset about that. It was entirely against our principles, the whole thing, it didn't seem to belong with us. There was even a question of a fourth version, which would have bordered on pantomime. It was called the Acton version, which isn't even funny."
"We didn't like the dance mix of 'This Charming Man' which they put out as a 12-inch and we told them so but we're certainly not going around saying 'Rough Trade have screwed us up'."
"I thought 'This Charming Man' the most obviously instantaneous release imaginable."
"Of all our singles I think I like 'This Charming Man' best, just because the rhythms are so infectious. Smith music really moves me."
"Taking things seriously; intelligence is not an awkward, obscure thing which is difficult to set in motion, but a way to glory. When you have thoughts of your own, you can be assured that you will be accused of seriousness. So? Morrissey is serious, but he offers us rapture, not dialectics. 'This Charming Man' is an accessible bliss, and seriously moving. This group fully understand that the casual is not enough... This is one of the greatest singles of the year, a poor compliment. Unique and indispensable, like 'Blue Monday' and 'Karma Chameleon' - that's better!"
"Yes, friends, after all these years good ol' Rough Trade is making a commercial push. Beneficiaries are the Smiths, a Mancunian foursome who play not the electro-funk suggested by assorted mixes of 'This Charming Man', but rather what might be termed 'power pop' were the music not so raw nor the lyrics so artsy... 'This Charming Man' realizes [their] promise in somewhat calmer fashion. As before, the guitar has a glassy jangle, bass is driving and agile when it counts, and drums supply just the right amount of rhythmic fillip. Monochromatic crooning is more of an acquired taste, but the melody (particularly in the bridge) is addictive. I now find it necessary to play the record at least a couple of times a day. Choose your version: The 'Manchester mix' of 'This Charming Man' is also available on the 7-inch. The 'London mix' adds echo to the guitar for a unique effect, but lightens the beat. Francois Kervorkian's New York mix - a separate 12-inch, vocal backed with instrumental - clarifies the vocal and emphasizes percussion, but extends and dissects the song dub-style to no great advantage. Neither of the two 12-inch B-sides can hold a candle to the 7-inch flip of 'Jeane', in which the Smiths get tender but not gloppy."
"Where has all the wildness and daring got to? Some of it has found its way onto The Smiths' record, 'Charming Man'. It jangles and crashes and Morrissey jumps in the middle with his mutant choir-boy voice, sounding jolly and angst-ridden at the same time. It should be given out on street corners to unsuspecting passers-by of all ages."
"This should have seen them move from 'one to watch for' to "this week's thing' but the gorgeous melody and ususual, sensitive lyrics are all but shot down in flames by a horribly ham-fisted production job. One day..."
Single Of The Decade
"The Smiths didn't fall out of a clear blue pop sky — groups like Orange Juice had engaged in similarly fey janglepop. But there was something about Morrissey — cavorting louchely on TOTP in a big, pyjama-like shirt, idly brandishing a bunch of gladioli like a weapon, his vocals deliberately plummy and prominent in the mix. That Thursday evening when Manchester's feyest first appeared on TOTP would be an unexpectedly pivotal cultural event in the lives of a million serious English boys. His very English, camp glumness was a revolt into Sixties kitchen-sink greyness against the gaudiness of the Eighties New Pop World, as exemplified by Culture Club and their ilk. The Smiths' subject matter may have been 'squalid' but there was a 'purity' of purpose about them that you messed with at your own peril."